National Recreation Trails Database


Trail Description Continued

Long Description of The Tanglefoot Trail

The Tanglefoot Trail (TM), owned and operated by the GM&O Recreational District of North Mississippi, consists of 43.5 miles of asphalt trail ten feet wide. The Trail extends from Houston to New Albany, Mississippi. The Trail runs through or near Houston, New Houlka, Algoma, Pontotoc, Ecru, Ingomar and New Albany.

There are plans for Trailheads to be located in the cities of New Albany, Pontotoc and Houston, . These buildings will be larger than the Whistle Stops in Ingomar, Ecru, Algoma and New Houlka. They will provide for Trail orientation, maps, logo sales, bike rentals, restrooms, etc. The Whistle Stops along the Trail will provide rest areas for users which will include restrooms, a water fountain, bike rack, benches, picnic table, vending area, waste receptacles and parking and serve as an entrance to the Trail between the larger municipalities. Interpretive signage for historic sites along the Trail are being developed.

Planning for the conversion of the abandoned rail line to a recreational trail began in the Spring of 2004 and was opened in September, 2013. Funding is provided from both public and private funds. Each town and county through which the Trail passes contributes ¼ mill of their tax base to support the Trail and over 100 private Sponsors provide a significant portion of the total budget. The Tanglefoot Trail meanders through the rural countryside of Northeast Mississippi, offering multi-use recreational opportunities for many area individuals and travelers. The benefits to the communities in the area, to the region and state include: environmental, education, health, transportation, recreation, social, economic, and tourism. This trail first blazed by Indians was again followed by early explorers, Hernando De Soto and later, Meriwether Lewis. Ishtehotopah, the last Chickasaw king, built his home nearby. As Union troops made their way south, Col. Benjamin Grierson followed the same King’s Highway. As communities were reconstructed and others formed, Col. W.C. Falkner, great-grandfather of Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner, began his quest to build a railroad. One engine, the “Tanglefoot”, performed admirably as the line was constructed. In a new century, the Tanglefoot will offer opportunities for young and old; walkers, runners, skaters, cyclists, and local citizens and visitors to experience the history of this area in the hills of Mississippi.


County and municipal law enforcement officials in Chickasaw, Pontotoc and Union counties are authorized to patrol and enforce local laws as well as the GM&O Rails-to-Trails Recreational District rules and regulations. Violations shall be punishable as provided by state law. The following lists the rules and regulations adopted by the GM&O Rails-to-Trails District with an effective date of August 17, 2013:

• Unless otherwise posted, the Trail and other District property shall open daily thirty (30) minutes prior to sunrise and close thirty (30) minutes after sunset each day.
• Entrance to the Trail is authorized only at public roads, Whistle Stops and other points of entrance designated by the District. Trail users shall not leave District property and access private property along the Trail without the consent of the private property owner.
• Parking facilities are provided at Whistle Stops and other points of entrance designated by the District. Parking facilities shall be designated by appropriate signage posted by the District.
• Trail users shall obey all Federal, State and Local laws and trail signage.
• Trail users shall not access streams, ponds or lakes along or beneath the Trail for any purpose.
• No person under 12 years of age shall be allowed on District property unless accompanied by an adult.
• Petroleum-propelled vehicles (cars, trucks, ATV’s, motorcycles, etc.) are not permitted on the Trail except those emergency, maintenance and patrol vehicles authorized by the District.
• Electric “golf-type” carts are permitted on the Trail only after application & receipt of a “special-use permit & decal” issued annually by the Trail Manager.
• No dog(s) shall be allowed on District property unless confined by a leash and accompanied by the owner. Waste deposited by dog(s) on District property shall be immediately removed by the owner of the dog(s).
• Horses or equestrian riders shall not be allowed on District property until such time as the District is able to identify & develop an “equestrian trail” on designated areas owned by the District.
• Camping on District property is prohibited.
• Fires are prohibited on District property.
• No person shall dispose of litter on District property except in waste containers provided by the District.
• Vandalism of any building, structure, plant, sign or other District property is prohibited.
• Moving, removing or re-arranging of any District sign, marker or other District property is prohibited.
• Disturbing vegetation and the handling or feeding of wildlife on/along the Trail or other District property is prohibited.
• No glass containers shall be permitted on District property.
• Explosives or fireworks shall be prohibited on District property.
• Firearms of any kind are prohibited on District property except for authorized District personnel, law enforcement officers or by appropriate permit.
• Shooting a firearm on, over, across or down the Trail or other District property is prohibited.
• Hunting or fishing is prohibited on or from District property.
• Possession or use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs on District property is prohibited.
• Disorderly conduct, including but not limited to abusive language, intoxication, disturbance of other persons and breach of peace, are prohibited on District property.
• Any and all Trail advertising, exhibitions, solicitations and contributions are prohibited except by special permit authorized and issued by the District.

Violations of the rules and regulations listed above shall be punishable as provided by state law. Individuals guilty of multiple violations of the aforementioned rules and regulations may be banned from use or access of the Trail or other District property.


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